The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews announced on Monday morning that the 2020 Open Championship is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We care deeply about this historic championship and it is with a heavy heart that we have canceled The Open for the first time since World War II,” the R&A released in a statement. “This will be disappointing for a great many people but this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly to protect the health and well-being of everyone involved. It is the right thing to do.”
Also known as the British Open, the golfing major was scheduled to be held from July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Kent, England.
The 149th edition of the tournament — which began play in 1860 — will now be played from July 11-18, 2021.
“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible,” Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A said. “There are many different considerations that go into organizing a major sporting event of this scale. We rely on the support of the emergency services, local authorities and a range of other organizations to stage the Championship and it would be unreasonable to place any additional demands on them when they have far more urgent priorities to deal with.”
The Open’s cancellation is the latest blow to golf’s major tournaments this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rise.
Shortly after The R&A’s announcement, The Masters — originally scheduled for April 9-12 in August, GA — announced that it is targeting Nov. 9-15 as a possible date to hold the competition.
“We remain very mindful of the extraordinary and unprecedented challenges presented by the Coronavirus around the world,” Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, said. “As such, we continue to keep in close contact with local, state and national health authorities to help inform our decisions.”
The United States Golf Association also announced that the US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY has been rescheduled to Sept. 17-20. The competition usually takes place in mid-June.